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ND Women’s Swimming and Diving: Notre Dame falls to Tigers

Katie Heit | Monday, October 29, 2012

The Irish hit a rough spot in their season Saturday with a close 166-132 loss to Auburn.

Notre Dame and Auburn each won eight events, but Auburn managed to earn the upper hand in the No. 2 through No. 5 spots and take the win.

Senior Jaime Malandra said she was proud of her team’s effort despite the loss.

“As a whole, our team really stepped up to the meet,” Malandra said. “Auburn is a very talented team. While we knew that this meet was going to be a challenge, our coach reminded us we had to approach it just as we would any other dual meet.”

The Irish did rack up a large number of individual event winners. Sophomores Emma Reaney and Suzanne Bessire and senior Kim Holden posted individual wins. Reaney claimed the 200-yard individual medley and the 200-yard breaststroke. Holden won the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly, and Bessire won the 200-yard freestyle. 

Senior diver Jenny Chiang also claimed the gold in the 3-meter dive. Malandra said Chiang had one of the more impressive wins of the competition, winning the event after spraining her ankle early in the day.

“She exemplified the toughness and perseverance of a Notre Dame athlete,” Malandra said.

Sophomore Allison Casareto won the 1-meter dive after finishing fourth in the 3-meter. The Irish also claimed victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Despite all these wins, the Tigers managed to put enough people in second and third place in multiple events to snatch the meet victory.

Malandra said she thinks the loss will give the Irish momentum and drive heading into the bulk of their season.

“I think a lot of people surprised themselves with how fast they swam,” Malandra said. “That seemed to build our team confidence as a whole. The swimming season is a process and I think we’re off to a great start.”

Malandra said the Irish will have to face tough competition the remainder of the season, but the encouraging nature of her team will help it find success.

“We work well together,” Malandra said. “We push each other and most importantly, we enjoy being around each other. It’s a special thing to be a part of.”

The Irish look to bounce back in a home meet against Purdue on Friday at 5 p.m. in the Rolfs Aquatic Center.

Contact Katie Heit atkheit@nd.edu